As promised, my series of our Disney trip blog posts are finally here and I’m starting with the most requested topic… “What do I REALLY need when I visit the Disney parks?” Honestly, it’s a great question and a perfect place to start. This last trip was our third time to Disney with the three little ladies and I can tell you that it was our favorite vacation as a family of five… EVER. We traveled to Disney in December and our girls were ages 8, almost 6 and almost 4 at the time, which full disclosure means no diapers, bottles, or misc. baby gear for us this time around, making things MUCH more simple! Regardless, I feel like my super simplified checklist covers all your bases, while allowing you to add in a few extra things your specific family may need. Let’s take a closer look at what to pack down below:
Backpack + Patches: Grab a simple backpack and add some Mickey/friends patches for extra flair
Belt Bag aka Fanny Pack: Perfect for holding your valuable while also keeping you hands free
Sunglasses: I highly suggest grabbing a few pairs of cheaper sunnies to bring
Lanyard + Pins: Our FAVORITE new Disney tradition, read more below
Water Bottle: I specifically grabbed water bottles that had a cover over the mouth pieces and added some Disney stickers (love this set too) from Etsy just for fun
Portable Fan: If you are visiting Disney in the heat, this is a MUST
Portable Charger: Not pictured, but also a MUST
Minnie Ears: Save some money and grab a pair of ears off of Etsy before visiting the park, there are SO many cute options on Etsy
Mickey Pop-its: Perfect for littles to use during longer wait times
In my Backpack: When it comes to packing our backpack, we keep things super simple. Grab a pouch to keep travel sized necessities in like: sunscreen, hand sanitizer, wipes, tylenol, and chapstick. We also keep snacks, water bottles, portable fans and chargers in our backpack. If you are visiting while Disney is still adhering to covid restrictions, I highly suggest grabbing some mask lanyards for your kiddos, they will be taking their masks on and off all day, don’t forget a few extra masks too! Rain ponchos are also something I suggest grabbing before coming to the parks, we only pack them in our bags day of IF the forecast is calling for rain, thankfully we didn’t need them during our last trip. A BIG tip with the backpack is DO NOT keep anything of value in your backpack, that way you can leave it connected or in your stoller while going on inside attractions. This is a total “at your own risk” choice, but we have always left our backpack on the stroller and “knock on wood” haven’t had any issues. I mean, it really would be bad karma for the rest of your life if you stole from someone at Disney, just saying…
In my Fanny Pack: When it comes to your valuables, this is where your fanny pack comes into play. It’s super easy to pack in your backpack and throw on while away from your stroller! I pack my: phone, cash/credit cards, hand sanitizer, chapstick, sunglasses and a small toy or game to keep the girlies occupied during longer wait times.
Misc. FUN items: This trip was our very first experience with pin trading and it’s safe to say we were all obsessed. I bought the girls lanyards and a set of trading pins on Amazon before we left for Disney, this is definitely the budget friendly way of getting started with pins. While at the parks (and Disney Springs/Disney Boardwalk too) there are multiple spots for pin trading, which is where the random starter pack pins from Amazon come in handy. The girls were able to swap those pins for new pins at each spot, each time they definitely upgraded pins and LOVED the experience. We even had a cast member and fellow Disney guest offer to trade pins with the girls, which made for a really fun memory too. This is such a great way to cut down on the amount of souvenirs the little ladies asked for and honestly the pins are something that will spark way more memories then the random stuffed animals they typically want.
Snacks, snacks, snacks… I know this is SHOCKING considering my girls live their BEST snack life on a day to day basis, but we don’t pack a ton of snacks for the parks. Between the hustle and bustle of the day, mixed with stopping for a least one full meal and a treat mixed-in, they really don’t ask for snacks. We also immediately grab a souvenir popcorn bucket when we enter the park, which offers $2 refills- both Scott & I, plus the girls LOVE snacking on this throughout the day and you can bring your popcorn bucket to all the parks throughout your visit.
While you wait… this trip I thought ahead and grabbed a few small things to keep the girls occupied during longer wait times. The Mickey pop-its were definitely a hit and easily fit inside my fanny pack when it was time to ride. I also grabbed the Pixar Spot-it, which is easy to throw in your fanny pack for longer wait times at restaurants during your trip too. I grabbed a ton of the $1 play packs from the Target dollar spot before the trips and these were awesome for keeping the girls busy during sit down dinners (even on non park days).
And there you have it… everything we pack when we visit Disney parks! My biggest tip for you is to not overcomplicate it and pack LIGHT. I can promise you that if you forget one or two items, you will be able to purchase it somewhere in Disney, it’s not worth packing for every single “this or that just in case scenario.” Keep your backpack light and enjoy the mix of magic and chaos!
Visiting Disney soon? You can download and print my FREE PACKING PRINTABLE HERE!